We'll know the Raiders have truly returned when defense secretary Robert Gates calls the Raiders "evil."
By now the end-of-interview comment from former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made the rounds. Talking with the Financial Times on Super Bowl Sunday, Rumsfeld asked interviewer Gideon Rachman if he was rooting for the Steelers or the Packers.
Rachman said he was picking Pittsburgh "because of the epic games against the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s."
"Nobody could support the Raiders. They're evil."
Nice isn't it? Any outrage in Raider Nation is misplaced.
"Evil" sure beats "dysfunctional," "inept" or "incompetent." It harkens back to a time when the Raiders were feared instead of mocked.
The Raiders got some of that fear factor back last year in going 8-8 and looking dominant in some instances while doing it.
The next step?
Get rid of all the pre-snap penalties and don't worry about the fouls of aggression. If Richard Seymour deems it appropriate to deck Ben Roethlisberger, make sure it happens in a win instead of a one-sided loss.
Where the Raiders are concerned, evil is good.